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Publisher's Summary

There is a hidden garden bordering the grounds of Jane Steward's book-themed resort - a garden filled with beautiful but deadly plants such as mandrake and nightshade. Tucked away behind ivy-covered walls and accessible only through a single locked door, as described in the pages of Frances Hodges Burnett's classic novel, the garden is of special interest to Jane's current group of guests, the Medieval Herbalists.

But when one of them turns up dead, Jane must discover whether a member of the group has come to Storyton Hall to celebrate their passion for plant lore or to implement a particularly cruel means for murder. With thousands of books at her disposal, Jane believes that she has the proper materials to solve this deadly problem. If she's wrong, however, she may lose something far more precious than the contents of Storyton's secret library.

©2016 Ellery Adams (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding addition to this series..

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, but this one took the series to a whole new level. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and ended up staying up way later than planned so that I could finish listening to it in two days. The main characters have developed so much since the first book, and I feel like I know them so much better now. I was very satisfied with the ending. And, of course, I LOVED the names of the ducks! Very creative. I'm truly looking forward to the next installment, and I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a good cozy mystery.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

grating

The dialogue and reactions of the characters were totally inane. I couldn't make it past the 2nd chapter because it was so unbelievable (stilted and simplistic dialogue) and the voices of the children were so annoying. I wish I would have payed more attention to the audio sample, because I wouldn't have gotten this if I would have. Instead, I read all of the raving reviews and purchased it because they were so overwhelmingly positive. They convinced me that I should start with this book and not the 1st in the series because they all said they liked this one best and the 1st two books are mediocre. That should have been an indication to me that the bar was already pretty low, because for some reason they kept reading the series though they thought the character development and other elements were lacking.
I don't like to write negative reviews but I thought others like me should be warned by at least one negative review that it may not be your cup of tea. Instead of finding it comfy, I found it very very silly and grating.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • bg
  • 08-30-16

Still a great series

I haven't given this one a five for two reasons: the interactions between Edwin and Jane are over the top, full-blown prose I'd expect to find in a Regency Romance - maybe. Their relationship just does not reflect the time the book is set in. Yes, they are book lovers but that doesn't mean they're sappy and certainly the characters are presented as the opposite of sappy in every other respect. The second reason I didn't give this one a five is because too many of the female characters are sounding so much like the aunt I can't tell for sure if it's her speaking. But I still love the uniqueness of this series and am waiting anxiously for the next one!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loving This!

Another wonderful book in this amazing series. A mystery to keep you guessing until the end. Loving this author's work and looking forward to many more in this series.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 01-15-18

Medieval Herbs and Secret Schemes

The third in the Book Retreat Mystery Series finds Jane Steward, guardian of Storyton Hall hosting a group of Medieval Herbalists, when one of the group, Kira Grace, a photographer, is found dead, just after the rubber duck race (a fun event sponsored by the local sporting goods store). Kira, found floating in the river, was at first thought to have drowned, but was later discovered to have been poisoned. Relieved that the murder wasn't committed at Storyton Hall, but still saddened that it was one of the group staying at her retreat, Jane vows to investigate the incident. The Medieval Herbalists turn out to be an odd group, some self-absorbed, some hiding secrets, others strangely mysterious . . . then there are the sisters, Victoria and Hannah Billingsley, as close as two peas in a pod . . . Hannah thoroughly enjoys her work as an herbalist, despite her debilitating birth defect . . . and both are looking forward to Victoria's upcoming wedding at Storyton Hall . . . Constance Meredith, aka the Poison Princess, an expert on poisonous plants with a toxic personality to match . . . The Fins are united with Jane to help solve Kira's murder . . . and the search is on for the exactly what poisoned her . . . Edwin makes a return, flustering and confusing Jane . . . all in all, I LOVE this series . . . Book Three has a couple things that kept me from giving it five stars . . . but they certainly will not keep me from going on to the next book, which is due to come out soon . . . the resolution was excellent, and I did not see it coming . . . BRAVO! Once again, Ellery Adams delivers!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect cozy mystery

I love this series. There's just enough intrigue, bookish references, endearing characters, surprises and happy endings. Can't wait for the next installment.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

very very very corny

Did I say it was corny? And predictable. And lots of flowery writing. I have enjoyed others by Adams, but not this one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A really great series!

Ellery Adams has done an outstanding job on this addition to the Book Retreat Mystery series. It's written with intelligence not only of the characters but for the reader also. There's nothing I hate more than reading a book where the characters are just plain stupid. That's certainly not the case with this series of hers. I love the main characters, the descriptions of the locations and the atmosphere. From the moment I start the book until the very end, I am totally enthralled. In fact, I'm usually quite sad when the book is over since I know it will be awhile before the next installment is released (please hurry Ellery!). The narrator of the audio book is outstanding. I'm not sure how she is chosen but she is the very embodiment of the main character. If you love this series as much as I do, try the Books by the Bay series by Ellery Adams. It's just as wonderful. I haven't been as entranced with her other two series.. Charmed Pie Shoppe or Hope Street Church. So if you've tried either one of those series, and you're not crazy about them don't let that hold you back from trying Book Retreat Mysteries or Books by the Bay series. These two are outstanding. There is also Antiques and Collectibles series. That's somewhere in between. Happy reading!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Story

I hope Ellery keeps writing this series. I read others of his series too. makes me happy

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Unrealistic conversation

The story had potential.. The characters over explain everything as if the reader can't follow or put two and two together. The conversations were unrealistic. Narrator was only so-so.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful